A letter from President Suzanne Mellon on the recent shootings in Atlanta, Georgia

March 23, 2021

Dear Members of the Carlow Community,

I am writing today to acknowledge our grief and great sadness following the recent shootings in Atlanta, Georgia against Asian Americans.  It is difficult to absorb and impossible to make sense of the frequency of these events now in the United States and our inability as a country to stop them.  The shooting in Atlanta is especially painful because six of the eight victims were of Asian descent, and I send my heartfelt condolences to our Asian students, faculty and staff who are struggling with grief, fear, anger and hurt. The increase in xenophobia in recent years, and particularly this year towards Asian Americans, has been alarming and contributed greatly to the generalized anxiety our country is experiencing. The many demonstrations of hatred and violence that cross our television sets and social media on a daily basis are difficult to handle.

Carlow University strongly condemns bigotry and hatred in all its forms and is deeply committed to the fight for antiracism, equity, and social justice for all members of our society.  Our condemnation calls us to action and we will continue this fight through our Social Justice Institutes, the Atkins Center on Ethics, the President’s Council on Equity and Inclusion, and Center for Mercy Heritage.  On the board level,  the Board and Presidential Anti-Racism Strategic Planning Task Force, which includes trustees and regional experts on racism, has taken up the charge of developing a 5-year strategic plan to build a strong antiracist culture at Carlow and in our region.

Xenophobia, and crimes like those in Atlanta, add greatly to this struggle as we emerge out of a global pandemic.  No antiracist movement can occur without fighting all forms of discrimination and evidences of hatred toward any racial, ethnic, or marginalized group.  We must offer condolences and support to our Asian friends and colleagues who are in pain and recommit ourselves to a campaign to fight the dangerous virus of bigotry.  We can reassure one another that the values we have held at the core of our University for more than 90 years will guide us and keep our moral and ethical compass pointed to building a better culture in our country.

For our students, if you or someone you know is in need of support or has concerns, please contact Dr. Maleea Johnson, Office of Equity & Inclusion, at mdjohnson4833@carlow.edu, the Office of Student Affairs studentaffairs@carlow.edu, or submit a report to the Care team.

For faculty and staff, EmployeeConnect offers professional, confidential services to help you and your loved ones. You can contact them directly and visit the following site for more information on their program services:

Website:  https://www.guidanceresources.com/groWeb/login/login.xhtml

Username:  LFGSupport   

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Call # 1-888-628-4824

We all look forward to a day when hate based violence and language are a thing of the past.  Let’s work together to bring that day to fruition.  We will be hosting a Community Carlow Talks Dialogue on Monday, March 29, 2021 from 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.  During the program, we will be asking our community to unite in condemning violence, and contemplate how we can work together to create a more just and merciful world.  I hope you will join us in this conversation.

Sincerely,

Suzanne K. Mellon, Ph.D.

President

officeofthepresident@carlow.edu

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